By Chris Yow
SUMMERTOWN — Run the ball well; stop the run.
That was the recipe for success for Summertown on Thursday night, as they cooked up a 26-6 win over Wayne County.
The Eagles were led offensively by Javen Edmiston, who ran 14 times for 112 yards and scored a pair of gutsy touchdowns on the ground. It was the Eagles’ defense, however, that set the tone early.
“Our defense has been really strong to start the season,” Eagles’ coach Les Mote said. “We’re led by Blake Bailey and Luke Chapman up front. Our linebackers are picking up a lot of slack, too.”
Summertown took the opening kick and drove the ball inside the Wildcats’ 10-yard-line before Colton Shaffer threw his first of two interceptions in the game. Wayne County was ready to take the momentum, but running back Hunter Staggs took the handoff and was met immediately by a host of Eagles and fumbled the ball, while Summertown scooped it up.
Edmiston then carried the ball three consecutive times on the next drive, going for eight yards, then 15 yards. On the third carry in a row, he took the sweep around the left end and was wrapped up short of the goalline when he tossed a defender off his chest and dove into the end zone for the touchdown.
Both teams struggled with the turnover bug in the game, as Summertown forced a 3-and-out on Wayne County’s next possession, but fumbled it back to the Wildcats after picking up enough yards for a first down on 4th-and-2. The Eagles’ defense held strong, though, giving up two big plays on the ensuing drive, but forcing a turnover on downs at their own 26-yard-line. Aided by a personal foul due to foul language, the Eagles found themselves in positive territory when Shaffer hit a short pass to Gavin Robinson, who then took the catch for 42 yards. Shaffer then punched it in from the 1-yard-line to push the lead to 13-0. A pair of illegal procedure penalties and a premature snap by the long-snapper forced a missed extra point, but the Eagles weren’t done on offense just yet in the first half.
Once again the Eagles forced a quick 3-and-out by the Wildcat offense behind that stubborn front seven, led by senior Avery Johnson. On the first play of the next drive Shaffer dropped a dime to Edmiston from 23 yards out for a touchdown. A fumble on the 2-point try left the Eagles up 19-0 at the break.
Summertown held Wayne County to minus-3 yards rushing in the first half.
“We did what we had to do,” Johnson said of his defensive front. “We expected the ground would be a little wet tonight, so we knew it was going to be up to us to make sure they didn’t break any long runs.”
Despite a 19-point lead going into the break, Mote said his team has some work to do.
“Two weeks in a row we’ve left some points on the board in the first half,” he said. “We’re doing some things well, but we’ve got to clean some stuff up.”
Wayne County cut the lead to 19-6 in the third quarter with a 20-yard strike from quarterback Cade Crews to wide out Clay Baugus, but it was as close as the Wildcats would get.
Edmiston punched in his second rushing touchdown of the night late in the fourth quarter, dragging defenders into the end zone.
“I feel like Javen gets stronger as the night goes on,” Mote said. “All of our backs are really tough to tackle late in the game.They just start breaking tackles in the second half; they do a great job.”
Summertown looks ahead to a road game next Friday night at Collinwood, who lost 26-10 at Richland in Week 2.
Summertown 26, Wayne Co. 6
WC 0 0 6 0 6
S 7 12 0 7 26
S — Javen Edmiston 15 run (4:46); Austin Abbott kick
S — Colton Shaffer 1 run (5:07); run failed
S — Edmiston 23 pass from Shaffer (2:58); run failed
WC — Clay Baugus 20 pass from Cade Crews (7:24); run failed
S — Edmiston 6 run (6:07); Abbott kick
First downs 8 14
Rushes-yards 17-16 47-236
Passing yards 137 72
Comps-Atts-Ints 10-20-0 3-8-2
Penalties-yards 2-30 8-75
Fumbles-lost 5-3 2-2
Wayne County — Logan Brewer 1-15, Julian Birchett 5-10, Timmy Robbins 5-3, Hunter Staggs 1-1, Cade Crews 4-(-18)
Summertown — Javen Edmiston 15-115, Aniken Johnson 18-62, Colton Shaffer 9-40, Lane Green 1-6, Stanton McNeal 1-4, Chris Higdon 3-(-4), Caden Dickey 3-(-5)
Wayne County — Cade Crews 10-20-1-0 137
Summertown — Colton Shaffer 3-9-1-2 72
Wayne County — Clay Baugus 7-115, Julian Birchett 1-14, Eli McLain 1-8, Hunter Staggs 1-0
Summertown — Gavin Robinson 2-49, Javen Edmiston 1-23